Nathan Edmondson Interview

Nathan Edmondson Punisher shirtNathan Edmondson is a talented writer of film, television, and many tremendous comics. He is the creator of Who is Jake Ellis, Olympus, and Genesis. Edmondson has worked on books for DC Comics, and is currently writing Black Widow, Punisher, and Deathlock. These are all titles I am currently enjoying, and had many questions about. He was gracious enough to sit down and discuss what is going on with these current projects and set a few things straight.

BLANKMANinc: You work on so many different books with many talented artists. How important is choosing an artist to you? What do you look for in a collaboration?

Nathan Edmondson: Finding the right artist — in chemistry and style and talent — is not just an important aspect of creating a book, it is the creation of the book.  The book doesn’t exist until an artist begins his or her work.  An artist is someone with whom the writer will be in the trenches with, perhaps for a decade.  You have to court that artist wisely, if you’re the one looking — some projects come from the artist and some come from a conversation with an artist, so there’s often a chicken and egg aspect to it.

Nathan Edmondson Black Widow and X23BMi: Black Widow has had several guest appearances in her comic, great ones, but I was so happy to see Laura Kinney (X-23) show up. How did this come about? Whose idea was it to bring her in?

NE: We’ve been looking for characters to build into Natasha’s world and X-23 was one that we settled on some time ago, I think Ellie Pyle and I discussed her based on Phil’s work with the character in the past.

BMi: Your work on humanizing and showing Natasha’s (Black Widow’s) personal life in the series reminds me a lot of what Matt Fraction has done recently for Hawkeye in his book. Have many people pointed out that comparison?

NE: 31.

BMi: As you flesh out Natasha past just being an Avenger, what traits of her personality do you want to come across most in your books?

NE: I suppose if I have to say it, I haven’t done a great job writing it, so hopefully readers will just get it; but with that said, I don’t really have a specific list of traits that tic off like bullet points, I’d like to think we’ve approached Natasha in a more holistic way, because she really is a character (like any real person) with unbounded depth and complexity.

Nathan Edmondson Punisher Bench CoverBMi: Other than sending Frank to the West Coast, what will set your tenure on Punisher apart from past runs with the vigilante?

NE: We’re something like 11 or 12 issues into it now so hopefully we’ve already set ourselves apart, but our thinking has never been “how can we make this different,” but rather, “how do we explore the Frank we feel we know best, as storytellers.”  So we’re naturally going to have our own angle into the punisher series.  We really haven’t cued all that much from any specific run that came before, we just took what we knew of Frank and ran forward with our version.

BMi: Garth Ennis truly defined the Punisher for me and many others. Were you a fan of his MAX run with the character? Do you have a favorite past Punisher arc?

NE: I don’t have a favorite past arc, no.  Obviously Garth’s run is legend and it’s hard to ignore but I think it’s also important for us as storytellers to ignore it for that reason; we can’t come write some fan-homage to his work on the character, and no matter how hard we might be inclined to try to continue Garth’s version, that’s what it would be: homage.  Not original.